Here's something that took me by surprise when I heard about it: the "Christian famous" pastor/author/speaker Francis Chan is basically packing himself and his family up and moving where there is no celebrity status tied to his name. Check out the article by CNN here.
At first glance I kinda shook my head in disbelief wondering why he'd throw all of that away. I've personally been in attendance as he's spoken at conferences, I've read his books and even used his material and plan on using them in my youth group. I regard him as one of the most straightforward and challenging authors there are out there in his genre. In fact there have even been times I've avoided reading his book because I knew what he'd challenge me to do! Of course every time I walked away from something he had put together I felt challenged and encouraged to live differently. Why would a man who walks closely with God and such a significant impact walk away from where most think he's having the biggest impact?
His words resonated with me as he said that more people talk about him then they do the Holy Spirit at his own church. Further stated he quotes the Apostle Paul who rightly said "I didn't die for you" to the congregation arguing about if Paul baptized them or not. Chan is making a point to not become one... and let the point be God instead.
So where is this balance? I'd be a flat out liar if I said I didn't want to become "Christian famous" or make a little more money in being a pastor so that I didn't have to work two jobs. Chan, by the way, only took home a small salary on purpose so it wouldn't be about the pay. If anything his decision caused me to reflect a little on my own situation and motivation. If I only had a dollar for every time someone asked me question like when are you going to become a real pastor or grow out of youth ministry... Even in those I wonder if they are not really asking when are you going to become "Christian famous." How does one balance being successful with not becoming the "point" of the ministry? Even on your way out, thanks for helping me to wrestle with some great questions Francis!
God, may my motivation and position as a youth pastor be one of humility and with perspective that only you can give...